YouTube and ESPN Form a New Bond

    May 20, 2009
    Chris Crum

YouTube and ESPN have entered a new partnership together. YouTube’s Chris Dale gave WebProNews a few details about it in a quick phone call.

ESPN will be featuring content that is apparently going to be in line with their television programming, although from the sounds of it there won’t be any live streaming, so don’t look to watch games on here (at least for the time being).

ESPN360 content could be an option down the road, but it’s too early to tell at this point. ESPN 360 is the network’s online video offering that actually does offer live streaming of some sporting events (to those whose ISPs support it).

ESPN 360

ESPN 360

One interesting aspect of the deal is that ESPN gets to bring their own video player onto the YouTube site. This is not the first time YouTube has allowed a third party to integrate their own video player into the site, though it is one of the first. For example, YouTube has allowed such with Sony’s Crackle.

Dale says they allow this because they want partners to be able to keep the look and feel that their own respective users have gotten used to. He says they want them to "feel at home."

ESPN’s content will also come with pre-roll ads. Dales tells me that these ad spots will feature messages from ESPN’s own sponsors.

He also pointed out that the partnership with ABC/Disney (of which ESPN is a part) has resulted in the Movies and TV shows sections of YouTube, which were announced recently.